Mr. Rostron Duckworth
asked the Minister of Health whether he is aware that it is the frequent practice of officials of local authorities verbally to de-requisition houses without giving any notice to the owner; and whether he will consider giving at least one month's notice in the case of dwelling-house property and three months in the case of industrial, commercial and agricultural holdings?
§ Mr. E. Brown
I have recently joined with my right hon. Friends the Minister of Home Security and the Secretary of State for Scotland in issuing a circular letter of instruction to local authorities on the procedure to be adopted in releasing premises from requisition. The longest possible notice of impending release is to be given to the owner and to the dispossessed occupier, or in case of doubt to the person to whom compensation rental under Section 2 (i) (a) of the Compensation (Defence) Act, 1939, is paid, and claim forms under the Act are to be supplied at the same time.
§ Sir R. Gower
asked the Minister of Health whether he will reconsider his decision that men serving in the Forces are not to be allowed to recover their homes if the courts think that the occupying tenant should retain possession; and whether he is aware that such a decision will cause much dissatisfaction among men in the Services?
§ Mr. Brown
I have made no decision such as that referred to by my hon. Friend who is, I am sure, aware that I have no power to override orders made by the courts under the Rent Restrictions Acts. If my hon. Friend has in mind houses requisitioned by local authorities, I would refer him to the answer I gave on the 23rd September to my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Penrith and Cockermouth (Lieut.-Colonel Dower), of which I am sending him a copy.